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Assessing Capstone Experience

Please cite as follows: Chan, CKY (2015). "Assessing Capstone Experience", Engineering Education Enhancement and Research Asia (E3R Asia).

Oral Presentation

What is Oral Presentation?

Oral presentation offers students a platform to demonstrate their communication and language skills in presenting information and expressing their knowledge about their design. In addition, students also learn to work as a team because the oral presentation for capstone design projects tends to be conducted in teams. An oral presentation can be facilitated with the use of visual aids such as handouts or PowerPoint slides.


Engineering students at the University of Cambridge are asked to design and build a “mobile robot” or an “Autonomous Guided Vehicle (AGV)” as part of their design project. These mechanical devices consist of electronic circuits and control software. Students working on the project are allocated into teams, where teams are further divided into sub-teams. Below describes a guideline for students’ presentation of a design project proposed by the University of Cambridge (University of Cambridge, 2012).  

(a) First Presentation [Team-based] can cover these areas:

  • The strategies used in designing and building the AGV or mobile robot (the product)
  • The mechanical design/layout of the AGV or mobile robot
  • The plans for electrical sensors/interfaces for the product
  • The software layout/construction for the AGV or mobile robot (including to mention the ability to detect failures or crashes in a system)
  • The job distribution (Who did what during the process of designing and building the AGV or mobile robot?)
  • The sketches and cardboard models for the product

Duration: 10 minutes with 5-10 minutes for Q&A

(b) Final Presentation [Sub-team based] can cover these areas:

  • A brief review of the overall design strategy of the AGV or mobile robot (the product).   
  • The sub-team designs for the product
  • The problems faced when implementing the design
  • The changes made to the original design and the rationale behind those changes
  • Any remaining problems regarding the design (optional)
  • A brief statement on its likely performance

Duration: 15 minutes with 10 minutes for Q&A